AP Top 25 will roll up in unusual college football season

NEW YORK (AP) – The Associated Press aims to rank teams as major seasons football games are played.

A very unusual season is less than a month away and the precision AP Top 25 presented by Region Bank is scheduled to be released on August 24, marking the 85th year of its existence. The AP will also release its preseason All-America team the next day.

The AP has asked its voters to consider all division I-teams when filling out their ballot papers, so it is expected that the pre-season demand will include teams from conferences that have decided not to play this fall. After games start, voters will only rank teams that are scheduled to play.

“The preseason poll has always been a speculative ranking of teams based on last year’s results and knowledge of the new makeup team,” said Michael Giarrusso, AP’s global sports editor. “This year we think it’s essential to give all teams and all their fans a snapshot of what the Top 25 would have been like to open the season.”

The pandemic has already swept a significant portion of the season. Two major conferences, the Big Ten and Pac-12, have called for fall sports. For now, 67 of 130 Bowl Subdivision teams, including those from the ACC, Big 12 and SEC, are still planning a fall football season. The AP panel of 62 sports writers and broadcasters will vote on it.

The AP provides guidelines to voters that are both broad and short, and understanding the task is more art than science, especially early in a season. The first sentence of those guidelines: “Base your vote on performance, not reputation.”

“The AP will collect and distribute the votes of our media panel as we always have,” Giarrusso said. “Once games start, it makes no sense to rank teams that do not participate. There is no one-size-fits-all solution that will satisfy any or every team. But ranking teams playing is what makes the most sense. ”

If a spring season is also played, the AP also plans to rank teams.

“The AP and our voters have no idea what a spring football season looks like. But we are open to adapting and finding a way for our Top 25 voters to get involved with ranking teams when real games are played in the spring of 2021, “said Giarrusso.

The AP All-America team will be conducted in a similar manner. All players, even those who have opted out for the season, are eligible for inclusion in the press season.

At the end of the fall season, only those who have played will be eligible for postseason submissions, including the AP Player of the Year and Coach of the Year awards, also presented by Regions Bank. If a spring season is played, the AP will consider appointing an All-America team after that.


Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.westwoodonepodcasts.com/pods/ap-top-25-college-football-podcast/


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